Inspired by an increasing outrage over anti-Native and red-face stereotypes in New York theater, director and playwright Murielle Borst-Tarrant (Kuna / Rappahannock Nations) has produced Don’t Feed The Indians - A Divine Comedy Pageant which will premiere in New York City’s La Mama Theatre this fall.

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Inspired by an increasing outrage over anti-Native and red-face stereotypes in New York theater, director and playwright Murielle Borst-Tarrant (Kuna / Rappahannock Nations) has produced Don’t Feed The Indians - A Divine Comedy Pageant which will premiere in New York City’s La Mama Theatre this fall.

Native New York Director Produces ‘Don’t Feed The Indians – A Divine Comedy Pageant’

Director Murielle Borst-Tarrant to Premiere contemporary Native theatrical work ‘Don't Feed The Indians - A Divine Comedy Pageant’

Inspired by an increasing outrage over anti-Native and red-face stereotypes in New York theater, director and playwright Murielle Borst-Tarrant (Kuna / Rappahannock Nations) produced Don’t Feed The Indians – A Divine Comedy Pageant which will premiere in New York City’s La Mama Theatre this fall.

As an author, playwright, director, producer, cultural artist, educator and human rights activist Murielle Borst-Tarrant’s resume includes being named “one of the most influential women in American Theater,” by Anne Hamilton in American Theater magazine.

Borst-Tarrant’s mother Muriel Miguel is a co-founder of Spiderwoman Theatre, the oldest Native American theatre group in the United States.

Borst-Tarrant has also received a Rockefeller grant nomination, a Native Heart Award, and was selected by the Olympic Games in Sydney Australia to perform her one-woman-show More than Feathers and Beads at the Sydney Opera House.

Murielle Borst-Tarrant told ICMN Don’t Feed The Indians – A Divine Comedy Pageant incorporates music, dance, film and Native arts, and much like the literary work, Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy, the characters visit the perils of Native people in the entertainment industry embodying the themes of Creation, Hell, Purgatory and Paradise.

The cast of ‘Don't Feed The Indian's - A Divine Comedy Pageant’ directed by Murielle Borst-Tarrant. Top left to right: Danielle Soames (Mohawk-Kahnawake), Kevin Tarrant (Hopi/Ho-Chunk) and Henu Josephine Tarrant (Hopi/Ho-Chunk/Kuna/Rappahannock Nation.) Bottom left to right: Nicholson Billey (Delaware/Choctaw Nation), director Murielle Borst-Tarrant (Kuna/Rappahannock), John Scott-Richardson (Haliwa-Saponi Tribe.)

Courtesy Theo Cote

The cast of ‘Don’t Feed The Indian’s – A Divine Comedy Pageant’ directed by Murielle Borst-Tarrant. Top left to right: Danielle Soames (Mohawk-Kahnawake), Kevin Tarrant (Hopi/Ho-Chunk) and Henu Josephine Tarrant (Hopi/Ho-Chunk/Kuna/Rappahannock Nation.) Bottom left to right: Nicholson Billey (Delaware/Choctaw Nation), director Murielle Borst-Tarrant (Kuna/Rappahannock), John Scott-Richardson (Haliwa-Saponi Tribe.)

The production includes a 26-look character wardrobe created by New York City fashion, costume, and regalia designer Sheldon Raymore (Cheyenne River Sioux,) whose work has graced the red carpet at the GRAMMYS.

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The ‘Don't Feed The Indians - A Divine Comedy Pageant’ production includes a 26-look character wardrobe created by New York City fashion, costume, and regalia designer Sheldon Raymore (Cheyenne River Sioux,) whose work has graced the red carpet at the GRAMMYS.

Courtesy

The ‘Don’t Feed The Indians – A Divine Comedy Pageant’ production includes a 26-look character wardrobe created by New York City fashion, costume, and regalia designer Sheldon Raymore (Cheyenne River Sioux,) whose work has graced the red carpet at the GRAMMYS.

“The costumes are all the more important in Native theater because we have such specific identities as indigenous people, which are often informed by tribal affiliation,” said Raymore, intricate designs include pow wow elements such as applique, embroidery, and intricate beading.

“The heart of the play is about hope, survival, family, community and cultural identity,” Murielle Borst-Tarrant told ICMN. “I believe everyone has a story to tell and as an artist I believe it is my job to tell a story that comes from the Native American point of view, and to advocate for that story.”

“Comedy to me is so much fun and to have an ensemble cast that has the same political point of view alongside me is golden, and two of them are my family members. My daughter Josie who graduated from AMDA, and my husband Kevin Tarrant (Hopi/Ho-Chunk) who is also our musical director.”

Borst-Tarrant’s gave advice for young Native artists, “No matter how many times the larger world says it can’t be done, keep on going and do it your way.”

For more information or to buy tickets, visit the links below:

Don’t Feed The Indians – A Divine Comedy Pageant
Nov. 2nd-19th, 2017  
La Mama theatre  66 E 4th Street

Buy tickets here: https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/pr/976504

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/dontfeedtheindians

Intermedia Arts website: http://www.intermediaarts.org/Dont-Feed-the-Indians—A-Divine-Comedy-Pageant–Part-of-the-Indigenous-Voices-Series

The production is part of La MaMa’s Safe Harbors Indigenous Collective, which seeks to create a new paradigm for the presentation of Indigenous arts and culture within the broader American theatre. The Collective will address Indigenous cultural and socioeconomic issues through theatrical performances, panel conversations, and community events. Murielle Borst-Tarrant (Kuna/Rappahanock Nations) is a second generation artists from the acclaimed company Spiderwoman.

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Native New York Director Produces ‘Don't Feed The Indians - A Divine Comedy Pageant’

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